Extra Innings: When Mercersburg wins, it wins big
Mercersburg Academy's softball team has won a mere two games this season.
But in those two games alone, the Blue Storm racked up 34 runs. Their first win was a 20-4 defeat of St. Maria Goretti, and just last week, Mercersburg defeated McConnellsburg in a local showdown, 14-7.
Doubles were the name of the game for Mercersburg, which had a staggering 22 hits against the Spartans. Sarah Lyman and Jenna Richards each smacked a pair of doubles, but it was Maya Miller who really shined by going 5-for-5. Lyman had four hits, and Ava Paul knocked three.
In the circle, Alyssa Magazine fired a four-hitter in the complete-game victory, and was backed up by a strong defensive effort from Maddi Jones.
"(Jones) handled every ball without error - three assists and two putsout - while covering and communicating effectively," Mercersburg coach Doonie Brewer said on the Blue Storm website.
Mercersburg scored 21 runs in its combined seven losses.
BIG ON DEFENSE: One reason why Chambersburg has gone 9-1 is that it’s defense has been strong. The Trojans have committed only eight errors in their first ten games, and four of those came in one game, vs. Waynesboro.
You might not think of rightfield as a key spot, but it can be, and freshman Alexis Estep has done a fine job for Chambersburg.
In a 6-1 win over Red Land on Tuesday, Estep roamed back to snag a pair of deep fly balls for outs, and she also threw a Patriot out at first base on a ball hit into rightfield.
Trojan coach Chris Skultety said, “With our pitchers and their speed, a lot of balls get hit to rightfield, and Alexis has been there for us. We call her ‘The Rook.’”
Estep is the flex player, so she doesn’t bat, but has proven her worth.
“I take a lot of pride in playing defense,” Estep said. “With our pitchers, I expect to get a lot of balls hit to rightfield so I have to be ready.”
Skultety said, “She’s one of those girls who just knows how to play the game. She’s a great shortstop, too, and she plays there when Leah (Hunt) is pitching.”
ON THE HUNT: Speaking of Hunt, Chambersburg's junior ace has solidified herself as one of the most dangerous pitchers in the area.
Normally the Trojans' closer, Hunt went the distance in a victory over Shippensburg, closing out her 17th inning of work this season. The Lady Hounds were the first team to earn a run off Hunt, making her ERA on the year 0.41.
"Leah hasn't pitched in two weeks, so we wanted to stretch her out today" Skultety said after the Ship game. "She's still the hammer; we've nicknamed her 'The Goose' now, even though she had to look up what that meant, but we just wanted to get her some innings today."
PITTMAN'S HOT STICK: When you're holding down the leadoff spot, your team is expecting you to get on base.
That's exactly what Brooke Pittman has been doing for James Buchanan. In her last 16 at-bats, Pittman has 11 hits. She has also gotten on base via an error in that time.